Well, that was a game to forget. Orlando City lost 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, and while the Lions almost certainly should have had a chance to level things from the spot in extra time, the home team also failed to take advantage of several good chances and only has itself to blame for the final score.
Let’s take a look at how each Lion performed individually in the loss.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — It was a quiet night in net for Pedro. He wasn’t actually credited with any saves, although I think the corner that he punched away was going in if he didn’t touch it. He passed with 96% accuracy, including two completed long balls, and also completed one dribble way out of his box as time was winding down. He was helpless to do anything about Gazdag’s goal and can probably feel a little aggrieved that the offside call was overturned.
D, Joao Moutinho, 7 (MotM) — It was great to have Moutinho back and he did a little bit of everything out there. Defensively he had a team-high five tackles, a game-high four aerial duels won, one clearance, completed both dribbles he attempted, and completed 80% of his passes with two successful long balls. Oh and he also had a team-high 83 touches. The Lions have missed his presence both at the back and going forward, and it was nice to see him back out there. His only blemish on the night came when he picked up a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away after a foul call went Philadelphia’s way.
D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — The Swede had a typically good performance in this one. He had two tackles, four interceptions, drew a foul, caught his man offside twice, and completed a dribble — all while passing with 96% accuracy and completing seven long balls. On more than one occasion he flashed his recovery speed to snuff out dangerous balls attempted behind the Lions’ back line, and it’s a credit to him and the rest of the defense that Philadelphia’s only good chance of the night didn’t come from open play.
D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — Like his counterpart at center back, Schlegel also had a good game. Defensively he won three aerial duels, made three tackles, and recorded four clearances and a block. Offensively, he took one shot and drew a lone foul while passing at a 92% rate and completing three long balls. He seems to grow a little more with every game he plays, and it was really nice to see how vocal he was with his teammates after several worrying passages of play.
D, Ruan, 5 — Ruan had a quiet night. Defensively, his only stat on the night was one clearance, and his most noticeable moment on defense was failing to step up in time, which kept Daniel Gazdag onside to score the game’s only goal. While he’s not really out there for his defending, and shouldn’t be marking the opponent’s top scorer on set pieces, he didn’t generate anything on offense either, although he did pass at a 91% rate. Unfortunately, most of the passes he didn’t complete were important ones in the final third. He got into good areas out wide on more than one occasion, but none of his balls into the box found a teammate, and his lack of accuracy on crossing has become a real problem. Teams have figured out that they just need to stand off him and not let him dribble past them, and they’ll probably be fine.
MF, Andres Perea, 6 — It was a better game for Perea than some he’s had in recent weeks. He passed with 86% accuracy, including a key pass and two long balls, and had one tackle, two interceptions, and two blocks, while his lone shot of the night was blocked. He was dispossessed once but was generally pretty good in possession and helped drive the team forward when the ball came to him.
MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Like a lot of guys whose main job is to defend, Araujo had a pretty good game. He was the best passer on the night with a 97% completion rate, and he had four long balls as well. He also had two tackles, an interception, drew a foul, won an aerial duel, and took two shots, one of which left Andre Blake massaging his wrist it was hit so venomously. His main blemish on the night was the one foul he committed, for which he also received a yellow card. Outside of the raw numbers, he had a couple very good passages of play to help Orlando break Philadelphia’s press and one very bad moment where he was far too slow picking up Julian Carranza on a corner, with Orlando very fortunate not to pay the price for it. He also made a mistake near midfield that Carranza tried to turn into a golazo but missed the target with Gallese pulled out. His long throw-in created a scoring chance that Torres missed wide. He did much more good than bad and continues to look like an excellent find.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 5.5 — Like the rest of Orlando’s attacking players it wasn’t a great night for him. His passing accuracy of 83% wasn’t his best, although he did register a key pass and a long ball. He also took one shot which was volleyed over, drew three fouls, and had two instances where his control let him down — one of which killed a promising attack very early in the game. He also chipped in one tackle defensively. The Orlando attack as a whole hasn’t looked very good in recent weeks and unfortunately that was the case for much of tonight. There were several instances where Orlando’s captain maybe should have shot but opted for a pass instead, although he wasn’t the only one guilty of that crime.
MF, Jake Mulraney, 4.5 — Getting the start out wide on the left, it was a difficult outing for Mulraney. Just several minutes into the game he had a bad giveaway in Orlando’s midfield that the Lions were very fortunate to not have punished. Worse though, was when he had trouble corralling the ball on the edge of the Philadelphia box following a turnover that Pereyra forced, with the giveaway torpedoing a great chance for the Lions. Outside of that, he passed with 75% accuracy, made a tackle, was dispossessed once and caught offside once. His effort can’t be questioned but it wasn’t a good performance and it was unsurprising to see him come off at halftime.
MF, Facundo Torres, 5.5 — Torres did some good things on the night. He had two key passes, completed two dribbles, drew a foul, and passed with 91% accuracy while completing three long balls and a cross. He also wasn’t afraid to shoot, registering five attempts on the night. Less good was the fact that he also missed OCSC’s best chance of the night in the first half after doing well to cut back on his defender and get the ball on his left foot. Speaking of his left foot, the other thing that’s becoming apparent is that he’s extremely one-footed. Teams have picked up on his lack of confidence with his right and do everything they can to show him away from his left. He was also dispossessed once and had three unstable touches in a frustrating night for the Lions on offense.
F, Ercan Kara, 5 — It was a very tough night for Orlando’s big Austrian striker. He was extremely isolated for the 89 minutes that he was on the field, with little to no service to speak of. His stats for the night speak to that as he finished with a meager 21 touches in almost a full game’s worth of action. He did have a clearance and a block while also passing with 77% accuracy and completing two key passes. His flick on for Pereyra from a long ball by Gallese set up Torres’ golden chance in the first half. He committed one foul which he received a yellow card for, and was also dispossessed twice and had three unstable touches, which hurts more considering how little he saw of the ball. He and the rest of Orlando’s offense need to figure out how to get him more involved.
MF, Benji Michel (45’), 5.5 — Benji got pretty involved in his half on the pitch and did some good stuff, such as recording three key passes, while distributing the ball with 91% accuracy, completing a cross, and drawing a foul. Some of the less good things were getting dispossessed three times, having two unstable touches, and committing two fouls. He had a better outing than the man he replaced, but with his speed it would be nice to see him try to take on his man 1-v-1 a bit more often.
MF, Alexandre Pato (61’), 5 — Pato wasn’t able to make much of an impact in his half hour on the field. His passing rate of 60% left a bit to be desired, although he did complete a long ball. Outside of that, he drew two fouls and committed one, while he hit his lone shot of the night wildly off target. He has not looked as dangerous after a good start to the season, and while it can be tough to get involved in the game as a substitute, he currently isn’t making a good enough case to start either.
MF, Junior Urso (75’), 5.5 — Upon entering the match, Urso did what he does and worked his butt off. The Bear completed a long ball while passing with 93% accuracy. He also completed a dribble and drew a foul. Unfortunately, his hard work didn’t have much of an impact on proceedings, although he was asked to play a more creative role than he’s used to with Pereyra exiting the field in his place. He’ll likely need a stitch or two after a clash of heads opened up his forehead mere moments after coming on.
F, Tesho Akindele (75’), 5.5 — Tesho flashed some good hold-up play in his time on the field, which is a strong suit of his. He only completed 50% of his passes, but also notched an interception and won an aerial duel. He had a chance to equalize for the Lions but couldn’t get over top of the ball with his header and it sailed over the bar. It wasn’t the easiest chance with a softly floating cross and a Philly player doing well to put him off, but he’ll have wanted to do better with it. He was also dispossessed once and was ultimately unable to spark Orlando’s sputtering offense.
D, Antonio Carlos (81’), N/A — Brought on for Joao Moutinho, AC won a pair of aerial duels, passed at a 71% clip with a completed long ball and committed two fouls while recording one unstable touch. He was the player pulled down by Gazdag in the box in stoppage time and might have had a chance at goal on the cross if not for the foul, but that’s not the way the referee saw it. It’s been good to see him back on the field, and if nothing else he got some minutes to help build his fitness.
F, Jack Lynn (89’), N/A — Lynn came on for Ercan Kara but was unable to get meaningfully involved in the game. He did have a great cushioned touch out of the air to help build an Orlando attack, but didn’t do much outside of that. Still, given Orlando’s woes up front it might be worth giving him some extended time on the field to see if he can help spark something.
That’s ultimately how I saw the individual performances in this one. You’ll notice that defenders and defensive oriented players tended to score higher than the offensive guys, and that’s because other than a couple lapses during set pieces, the defense played very well. The same cannot be said for the other end of the field. Let us know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to vote for your Man of the Match below.
Who was your Man of the Match in Orlando City’s 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union?
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